June 6, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Clayton Richard (33) during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at PETCO Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Our Padres resume interleague play tonight in Seattle against our most hated natural rivals, the Mariners. An off day yesterday gave our boys some time to reflect on yet another lost series, albeit one that was so close to a win. In our first interleague series this season, the Angels made a visit to Petco Park. Unfortunately for them, our Padres took two of three and won the series. Since then, we've had to suffer through series losses to the Cardinals, Mets, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Giants, and Brewers. Perhaps interleague play, although a pain, can help the team finally get back on track.
Seattle will send out Felix Hernandez in his first start since June 1st. He skipped his last start due to a sore back, but seems to be back to his old self now. He takes the mound tonight, against a Padres team that has lost 15 of its last 19 games, in hopes of a confidence-boosting win and a break from his recent struggles. Before his short pitching break, he found himself on the losing end of three of his last five starts, which was more than a little concerning for a pitcher who started the season 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA. The Mariners are hoping that now that his back problems appear to be resolved, he will return to the dominant pitcher he was earlier in the season.
Clayton Richard will take the mound for our Padres. His last start wasn't very pretty. He gave up four earned runs on ten hits against the Giants, and his defense didn't help much, adding a couple of unearned runs to the run total. His four starts prior to that were much better, however. He allowed no more than two earned runs in three of those four starts, so he will try to repeat that success tonight.
Seattle is coming off a series loss against the Dodgers in which they were outscored 16-6. They've had trouble at home this season, batting just .192 in 25 games at Safeco Field and averaging just over three runs per game. Hopefully Clayton can take advantage of their struggles at home and rebound from his last start. Also, our Padres will take advantage of playing in an AL park by using Carlos Quentin as a designated hitter and having him bat cleanup.
GO FRIARS!! KEEP THE FAITH!!